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Blue and White Plate with Water-Chestnut Flower Rim and Buildings among Landscapes

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Period: Jiaqing reign (1796–1820), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: height: 1.7 cm; mouth diameter: 14.3 cm; foot diameter: 11.8 cm

The plate is designed as a six-petal water-chestnut flower and has a flared mouth, flat base, and shallow, arced walls. Apart from the unglazed underside, the interior and exterior are covered in a white glaze. The interior walls are painted with blue in sumptuous designs. The interior bottom has a blue and white landscape with Western buildings. The plate design accords with Western dining customs while the embellishments are a blend of Chinese and Western styles. The blue and white tone is rather dark, and the ornamentation is arranged with orderly variations of density and space. The work is a rather exquisite Jiaqing-era (1796–1820) ceramic made for the foreign market.

After the eighteenth century, the style of ceramics made for trade at Jingdezhen underwent a significant transformation. Ceramic plates, for example, were made with floral rims, rectangular shapes, and water-chestnut shapes in much greater quantities as a result of Western dining habits. Due to the orders and requests of European merchants, Western dishes of various designs were fired in the kilns, and, as a result, Chinese ceramics—especially those made at Jingdezhen—became highly diversified.

Chinese entry by Dong Jianli
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu


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